Summary: Healthy things grow. See what a healthy church looks like.
This morning I would like to show tell you about a wonderful church. This is a church that is growing, meeting needs and changing the world for Christ. Our message this morning will be a snapshot provided of the early church from the book of Acts.
"They spent their time learning from the apostles, and they were like family to each other. They also broke bread and prayed together.
Everyone was amazed by the many miracles and wonders that the apostles worked. All the Lord’s followers often met together, and they shared everything they had. They would sell their property and possessions and give the money to whoever needed it. Day after day they met together in the temple. They broke bread together in different homes and shared their food happily and freely, while praising God. Everyone liked them, and each day the Lord added to their group others who were being saved.
Acts 2:42-47 (CEV)
As a body of believers we are one big family. We share a common tradition of faith. It is important that we remain teachable and that we willingly teach others. Both our words and actions are powerful tools of instruction. Look at what 2 Timothy 3:14-17 tells us.
"Keep on being faithful to what you were taught and to what you believed. After all, you know who taught you these things. Since childhood, you have known the Holy Scriptures that are able to make you wise enough to have faith in Christ Jesus and be saved. Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live. The Scriptures train God’s servants to do all kinds of good deeds.
2 Timothy 3:14-17 (CEV)
Many of you have heard the saying "blood is thicker than water." As a family we are all God’s children bound by the blood of Jesus Himself.
"You Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens with everyone else who belongs to the family of God.
Ephesians 2:19 (CEV)
Being a part of God’s family we are called to fellowship. With fellowship comes the joy and privilege of sharing. We get to share our joys and our sorrows, our gifts and our blessings.
"When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad.
Romans 12:15 (CEV)
When we draw close to God we should expect the miraculous to happen. To the ordinary person, a healthy church should bring about a "Wow!!! There’s something you don’t see everyday response." How easily we forget that we serve the God of the miraculous.
"You alone work miracles, and you have let nations see your mighty power."
Psalm 77:14 (CEV)
We are vessels for God’s use. God chooses to work in and through His people. We are privileged to be used, always realizing that the glory goes to God.
"Then sick people were brough out to the road and placed on cots and mats. It was hoped that Peter would walk by, and his shadow would fall on them and hela them. A lot of people living in the towns near Jerusalem brough those who were sick or troubled by evil spirits, and they were all healed.
Acts 5:15-16 (CEV)
God is still in the miracle business...have you seen something wonderful today?
Some of you have heard the Spanish saying "Mi Casa, Su Casa." It means my house is your house. In a healthy church coming together is not a burden, it’s a privilege. In this snapshot we see that fellowship was a strength and the highlight of the day.
We also see that the meeting of needs was a priority. When we meet needs we demonstrate God’s love in a practical way.
The king will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me."
Matthew 25:40 (CEV)
The meeting of physical needs will open doorways to meet spiritual needs. God commands us to be sensitive to the needs of others.
How many of you jumped out of bed at 6:30 this morning and shouted "I can’t wait to get to church." A healthy church is a focal point in the lives of it’s members. The people come together for corporate worship, corporate prayer, the Lord’s Supper, fellowship, ministry, teaching and evangelism. Church is important, look at what the scriptures say:
"Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord’s coming is getting closer."
Hebrews 10:25 (CEV)
When people come into our midst, do they leave saying: "They sure were a nice bunch of folks." You’ve all seen cold, unfriendly churches...but that is not what God seeks. We are called to be set apart: